The MTF Madoka Magica thread (spoiler warning) had me thinking, how do we deal with spoilers?
As a blogger, I’m not that scrupulous with spoilers, but I mark my posts as spoiler-heavy if they’re about important plot points. It goes without saying that introductions to shows shouldn’t include spoilers, though.
MTF, a forum which I frequent, has a pancake () emoticon. It was concocted after a thread for Kanon 2006, which made “pancakes” the de facto euphemism for angsty character death. It confuses the uninitiated at first, but they get smarter thanks to context clues. Nowadays, it’s just syntactic sugar.
MTF also doesn’t have spoiler tags. We get by with using small text. The general consensus about spoilers is that everything is fair game, and small text is only used when subs are not available yet (i.e. the episode just aired). Personally, spoiler tags irk me, but maybe because I’ve never used them extensively. (I have never gotten into AnimeSuki, mainly because the high amount activity just swamps me.)
Some people challenge the status quo. People who aren’t up-to-date with a show should be able to check the related thread without being spoiled to hell and back, since not everyone will be able to be instantly updated with the latest episode. Defenders of the current method maintain that these people should have the sense not to check the thread in the first place (which shouldn’t be very hard).
I find it all interesting. Growing up, I never cared about spoilers. Even if I knew the whole plot of a movie or book, I only cared for how things unfolded. Usually, if a work of fiction is good enough, whether a certain character dies or not shouldn’t matter, as long as the execution is well-done. Sometimes I would go out of my way to read up on a book’s plot summary just to get pumped up. But lately, I’ve found the feeling of getting blindsided by a twist very appealing. I don’t spoil myself deliberately as much as I used to.
I guess my ideal solution in a forum setting would be to not talk about spoilers directly, which is more difficult than it sounds. Those in the know should discuss spoilers in a way where only people in the know could “get” it. And it’s actually quite fun: the Internet has been able to concoct phrases like “Pineapple Salad” and “Hamburgers”.
How about you, bloggers? How do you deal with spoilers?